Monday, February 28, 2011

White Metal Madness

Can the average guy create his own mini army from scratch?  Sculpt, mould, cast and paint all in the kitchen sink?  Well ...
Sort of.   This is that 28mm knight I carved - cloned so he's got buddies, armed and painted.  There are lots of tutorials about white metal casting and mould making - and you all probably have your own techniques, but I will post mine just for the fun of it.

The first step is that I prep my figure with wooden dowels for the pour and vent holes at the base of the mould.  Then my sculpt takes the goo bath.

Some people pack one side of their original with clay and pull the clay off to get the half of the mould.  I prefer to completely cover the figure and dig it out.

The second half of the goo bath.

The first casting reproduces my original sculpt nicely.  I am guessing that most commercial mini figures are cast in centrifugal casting machines to get all the fine detail.  I was not sure if a mini figure could be home cast with regular drop casting - but this seems to work.

Not only did my first cast work out well, but every cast afterward is consistent and reproduces the original nicely.

Weapons...  what to do about weapons?  I am too much of a chicken to try to have weapons integral to my figure - so I create one sided press mould.

To my surprise, the press mould works... sort of.

My first three 28mm reproduced figures -  armed, painted up and set on bases.

You all are probably laughing at my paint job.  I will be the first to admit - painting has just not made it into my skill set.  If I start producing some nice mini figures, I think I want to commission one of you painting wizards to make my figures look presentable.

There is a serious leak coming through the rear stairs in our house that needs attention.  For my spare time activities, I need to put away my exacto knife, silicon, and melting pot and work with my skill saw and roof patch for a while.  Suffice it to say that Ms. Bigglesworth is not amused by the water pouring in.  Signing off for a while....
Mr. B.

Friday, February 18, 2011

First 28mm out of the gate

Ok, here he is - my first 28 mm sculpt.

Actually, this gruesome creature is my first 28 mm sculpt - but I was just playing around with the first pieces of green and getting a feel for what it can do - so this one really doesn't count.

Back to my knight figure, I rushed the placement of the left arm, so there is something funny about the pose.

But its not quite the disaster I was expecting.  Thanks for your encouragement.  It was a rewarding enough experience that I might try more 28 mm figures.

Monday, February 14, 2011

28mm - What am I thinking?

After frustrating myself with trying to sculpt in 54mm, I've decided to attempt 28 mm pieces as well.  I just want to say to all of you out there who do 28mm sculpts - y'all are crazy.  It has made me appreciate what a grand and vast canvass a 54mm figure is.  The photo below shows the French knights I've been working on, but the cork and sculpy dolly for the 28mm figure is in the foreground.  This gives you a good scale comparison.  The head was actually done in epoxy putty, the body is sculpy.  I've got a feeling this will be a waste of time.  The good thing about 28mm is that its hardly a waste of putty - the figure is so tiny (yes, I know, there are even smaller scales of miniatures out there.)

February Figures

These are some new figures I'm working on, based on French armor in the Hundred Years War.  These figures are mainly sculpted in super sculpy, but I have recently started using epoxy putting.  As far as getting detail on my figures, its stepped up my game a bit.  You can see the arms of the second figure in the foreground.  They are attached toward the end of sculpting.  Rather than making sockets and casting pieces separately, I am now integrating wires from the arms to act as vents for the mold making process.


My ever curious mind decided it wanted to explore the process of casting some medieval cottages.  The original was made out of foam core and gesso.  I made a mold in RTV silicon - pretty much wrecking the original.  I then popped out a bunch of these in resin and with some minimal painting, I've got a Gothic trailer park!  I just need to get my butt in gear and finish some of these knights that I'm making.